2012 is just about done and dusted! It has been a fantastic year with all of the victories and challenges. It’s been a journey of change and I’m so thankful to all the amazing people in my life. My family have been super and supportive. I’m grateful for old friends and new friends. Friends are a wonderful gift and if you have amazing friends let them know.
The new year is looming and there’s always the temptation to make promises for the days ahead. I’m not a new year resolution type of person but my personal goal as I go forward is to read way more than I have this past year. I love the idea of new beginnings and there can be no better beginning like the start of a new year.
However you choose to see in 2013 my hope is that it will be your best year ever. Life will always present us with challenges and here’s to rising to those challenges!
Happy new year!
A problem shared is a problem halved! I’m definitely not the type of person who goes around sharing my deepest fears and feelings with anybody who looks remotely interested. Today I was privileged to share a piece of my life with somebody who has become a good friend to me. We shared, we laughed and now we move on!
Friends are a rare gift…treasure them!
Two days ago I was introduced to a cake mix called Herman. I must admit seeing him looking not so well and being told I was responsible for his survival has proven to be far more than I could handle. It saddens me to report that Herman my German friendship cake has seen his demise while in my care. I can’t actually claim to have cared for him because I totally forgot about him on day one.
This is how it should have played out. You get given a portion by a friend then you look after the sour dough cake mix for ten days and share it with three other friends. I am now secretly hoping that this failure is not an indication of the type of friend I am. I totally failed to understand the process, did not seek help at the appropriate time and failed to nurture until its completion. Oh no! This is a total disaster if it is in fact a friendship analysis task.
I took Herman from day 2 to day 10 in a day and was forced to bake it without sharing with my friends and giving them an opportunity to show what awesome people they are. Fortunately for me my good friend Heather brought a completed piece of delicious friendship cake for me. My friendship cake has been taken out of the oven and it is vile. I feel seriously defeated by a cake which will be enjoyed by the ducks and I seriously hope they don’t taste that it is the result of my poor friendship skills.
I thought I’d give some of you a chance to show your amazing skills by posting a copy of the recipe. I have not included pictures of my dearly departed Herman because I refuse to put my criminal evidence on display!
Herman The German Friendship Cake
Hello, my name is Herman. I am a sourdough cake. I’m supposed to sit on your worktop for 10 days without a lid on. You CANNOT put me in the fridge or I will die. If I stop bubbling, I am dead.
Day 1: Put me in a large mixing bowl and cover loosely with a tea towel.
Day 2: Stir well
Day 3: Stir well
Day 4: Herman is hungry. Add 1 cup each of plain flour, sugar and milk. Stir well.
Day 5: Stir well
Day 6: Stir well
Day 7: Stir well
Day 8: Stir well
Day 9: Add the same as day 4 and stir well. Divide into 4 equal portions and give away to
friends with a copy of these instructions. Keep the fourth portion.
Day 10: Now you are ready to make the cake. Stir well and add the following:
1 cup of sugar(8oz or 225g)
2 cups plain flour (10oz or 300g)
half tsp. (teaspoon) salt
2/3 (two thirds) cup of cooking oil (5.3oz or 160ml)
2 tsp. vanilla essence
2 cooking apples cut into chunks
1 cup raisins (7oz or 200g)
2 heaped tsp. cinnamon
2 heaped tsp. baking powder
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup melted butter
Mix everything together and put into a large greased baking tin. Sprinkle with a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and a quarter of a cup of melted butter. Bake for 45 minutes at 170‐
180C. Test the middle with a clean knife; you may need to cover in tin foil and bake for a
further 20 minutes to make sure your Herman is cooked properly in the middle.
When baked, Herman can be frozen.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can be a really good friend, well, that’s what I think anyway. When I come across people who I could possibly form a lasting friendship with, I must admit it really throws me off-balance when I realise all the planting and watering will come from my side. To me friends are not people who hang about waiting for harvest time.
Now if you honestly think about your friends you will see exactly what I mean. There are those who run a mile when you’re facing difficulties and then can’t get any closer when the days are good. On the other hand there are those who really do stick with you through thick and thin. Sadly the way our lives are structured these days many of us have wonderful friends spread across the world. I have forged some wonderful friendships since arriving in the UK.
Then there’s the friend who just smothers you with kindness and/or complaints. You know the type when you get a text you just grind your teeth. You hide from them in the supermarkets collapsing displays in an attempt to get as far away as possible. When you’re a kind-hearted long-suffering person who has such friends you don’t have the heart to say ” I know we’re just friends and I wish we were so much less” The key to these friendships is small doses. Just enough not to make you sick.
I have been thinking about friendship quite a bit the last few days. Family is important to me but friends are equally important, after all you need somebody to complain about your family to! This post goes out to all the amazing people whose paths I’ve crossed and have taught me so many lessons about myself. Thank you for allowing me to be myself. To those who’ve just ground their teeth on seeing this post…oops!
I absolutely hate waking up on a Sunday morning to find it wet and soggy. Granted it has been raining for about a week now somehow in my subconscious I expected bright skies as the day suggests. So rainy Sunday’s are a bit of a deal breaker for me. After all the weekends are for celebrating.
I’ve been feeling slightly homesick and longing for South Africa the last few days I guess it has something to do with the long weekend and a range of family activities. For some strange reason I always imagine it being rather sunny as well which adds to the longing when the skies are so grey.
I’m happy to report I’ve had a fantastic day with expatriates celebrating a birthday. Needless to say there was more than enough food, laughter and camaraderie. I loved every moment with my adopted family. What a wonderful end to an otherwise dull and miserable day!
I’ve had the privilege of meeting many new people since arriving in England. Of course some are once off meetings, others acquaintances and some I count amongst my closest friends.
Anybody who knows me knows that I thrive on good honest conversation and a lively debate occasionally.
I’m not one who wears my heart on my sleeve but if the situation calls for it I will give more information if required.
Communication is a really complex tool! Give too much and you’re a blabber mouth. Say too little and you’re regarded as too secretive.
If I had a few wishes one would be for conversation to be based on complete honesty and understanding. In the meantime though as a self-confessed “overly extrovert” individual I have got to be a little more understanding when it comes to people who don’t view things and express them as I do!
So while the world is considered a stage everybody has got to be allowed to play their part as best they can.
Lights! Camera! Action!
I’ve heard it been said that if you want good friends then you should be a good friend. Friends need to be nurtured and taken care of. Sadly though for some friends the wheel of friendship only seems to roll on their terms.
Throughout my life I’ve been blessed with some of the most amazing friends. Over the years some friendships have dissipated but thankfully in the circle of life there is always room for new friendships.
Friendship is a gift that should be cherished and never taken lightly. Good friends are not very easy to come by so when you find them treat them like a precious commodity.
Yet another really busy day at the central food bank. I’ve done many shifts and it always surprises me just how in need people are. I work with a fantastic team of people who I now call friends.
We have many ups and downs in a day but it all works out in the end.
At the end of the day I’m just really grateful for all my family has. I feel blessed to be able to help in this small way!
It’s almost three years now since my family arrived in Birmingham. These days I miss some simple things from back home. The thing I missed the most though and feared I would lose my mind over in those early days was conversation. Those days were very bleak and I would look forward to going to local shops just to have minimal contact with adults. My husband worked away from home so it was quite lonely hanging around with my very young children.
Of course things are very different now and I have amassed a wonderful group of friends who I love meeting with and having wonderful laughs. We are all so very different yet those differences make our friendship really special. I’m so thankful for people who were willing to give a talkative, conversation loving South African a talking chance!
As I get older I realise the importance of friends. When you’re younger they seem so much easier to acquire like a new coat and of course anything will do most of the time. There is a time in all of our lives when people’s opinions and affections no matter how shallow mean so much to us. I’m so glad I’ve reached the place in my life where I can throw meaningless friendships overboard because the truth is nobody needs friends who are just takers and drain the life out of you.
I am truly blessed with some amazing friends. Some I have known most of my life and love that we’ve travelled through life enjoying many experiences and hopefully growing wise along the way. My new friends are just as amazing and make living in England so bearable. Family is the most precious gift but great friendships are just as important.
Great friendships are priceless and good friends are precious. Cherish them both!
I imagine everybody has that day when after a period of relative smooth sailing you reach the proverbial bump in the road of life!
I like to think of myself as being rather laid back maybe a tad too laid back in some peoples opinions. Fortunately for me I don’t usually pay much attention to opinions. I actually pride myself with being unperturbed by the many things life throws at me. In short I’m a coper.
Occasionally I find myself cornered and I’m just unable to come up with workable solutions to everyday problems. It’s usually at this point that I have to seek outside help and the thought of appearing needy leaves me feeling unsettled. You see the truth is I really don’t like asking for help unless of course I am well and truly trapped by circumstances.
It’s been said that no man is an island. It’s true that people add value to our lives. I’m fortunate to have met some of these wonderful people. People who you can lean on in times of need and are willing to give much needed support.
Acknowledging I need help doesn’t make me weak it suggests I have some strength and wisdom!